I became a single mom overnight, with no time to prepare or think through how to approach parenting in our new not-so-normal life. Not only was I reeling from my broken heart, I was shepherding seven kids through healing their own broken hearts. Becoming a single mom impacted every part of our family. It affected how I parented, it shifted roles and expectations, and it created an obvious gap in everything from decision-making to where we sat at the table—even whether to eat at the table. The life we’d had was shattered and the future I’d counted on was gone.
Single parenting has felt temporary and I’ve often been more reactive than proactive. Even though our family looks different now, I want to parent with vision and purpose. That’s why every single mom needs a family vision statement.
What is a family vision statement?
A family vision statement sets out the values, principles, priorities, and purposes for your family. It includes you and your children, individually and collectively. It’s unique to your family and helps define your family.
How to create a family vision statement?
Creating a family vision statement requires you to think through the priorities and purposes of your family. These questions can help you develop your family vision statement:
What are the priorities for your family? Knowing this keeps you from overcommitting or feeling like you’re missing out because you can determine which activities further your priorities and which activities don’t. For example, one of our priorities is helping our children develop a solid faith foundation so we keep Sunday mornings for church.
What values are most important for your family? These core values serve as guide rails to help you parent and make decisions. Examples of family values are loving each other well, serving others, honesty in all circumstances, hard work, initiative, generosity, loyalty, and grit. For example, to teach family loyalty, we’ve declared our home a safe space from comparison or criticism.
What kind of environment do you want for your home? Do you want a home that inspires creativity, one that encourages planning and organization, or a home that is warm and peaceful? Envisioning your home environment keeps you focused as you parent alone. A friend does this well: she’s created a welcoming home for her kids and their friends with a house and heart ready to receive guests.
What character do you want to be shaped in your children? Maybe you’d like your children to learn selflessness, courage, independence, patience, compassion or gratitude. Knowing the kind of character you want to see your children develop will help you know how to instruct and correct your kids. Here’s a list of 26 character traits. To encourage our kids to grow in kindness, we’ve looked for ways to help other families with a move, yard work or bringing a meal.
Finally, how does your family fit into the community, your church, the world? Are you passionate about helping orphans or serving in a local organization? Are there ethnic or cultural ties that are central to your family? Thinking beyond your own family helps you envision how you and your children can contribute to those around you. Our family has done this with mission trips as we’ve served locally and internationally.
How to implement your family vision statement?
After thinking through each of the questions, write down your own family vision statement. We even made a printable Family Mission Statement so you can write it and hang it up. Share it with your children and talk about the reasons behind your vision. See if your children have anything they would add and then post it where everyone can read and refer to it.
Tell us! Are you still unsure about how to create a vision statement? Ask me a question and I’ll answer below.